The VF&RS Honour Guard was formed in 1989 by Chief Training Officer Roy Rose (ret., deceased) and Assistant Chief Training Officer Jim Bathurst (ret.) and were awarded a Departmental constitution in May 1991 from Fire Chief Don Pamplin (ret.).
The Organization; (Membership requirements from VF&RS Honour Guard Constitution)
“The Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Honour Guard is a voluntary organization comprised of members who are current or former uniformed members of suppression personnel, of the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, who have the necessary skills required to perform basic foot drills and who wish as a voluntary pastime, to have the opportunity of using such skills as part of a fire sponsored group.”
The primary purpose of the Honour Guard is to provide uniformed attendance and participation at funerals of deceased members of the Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services both active and retired. The Honour Guard may at request to the Fire Chief, attend or participate at funerals of leading citizens, political leaders or fire fighter deaths both locally and internationally.
In addition the Honour Guard may be called upon to represent the City of Vancouver and or its Fire Service at Civic functions, Memorial Services and Retirements.
The Honour Guard has been a very active participant in the Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial held in Ottawa since its inception in 2004. Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services will be the Honourary Host Fire Department for this ceremony in 2008 and the Honour Guard and Fire Fighters Band will play a significant role in that event.
The Honour Guard has (unfortunately) made several trips to honour fallen American brothers. Including such tragedies as in Seattle’s loss of four fire fighters in 1995 and to New York for the 9/11 Memorial held in 2002. In September of 1998 the Honour Guard became the first Canadian Honour Guard to officially represent Canada at the I.A.F.F. Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Honour Guard is comprised totally of past and present I.A.F.F. Local 18 members. The Honour Guard works closely with Local 18 and relies upon Local 18 for guidance and direction. The Honour Guard has provided many services for the Local, the most memorable being the I.A.F.F. International Convention held in Vancouver in 1992 where the Honour Guard proudly presented the colors and performed in the Fallen Fire Fighter Services.
The Honour Guard has several drill instructors with previous, extensive Canadian military background. Subsequently the Honour Guard is able to provide the following services;